As President Obama struggles to find a diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis and remain a friend of Israel, he would do well to look at what another Democratic president, Harry Truman, did in 1948 while seeking reelection and dealing with the birth of Israel.
One of the great mysteries of the nuclear age was solved just six years ago: What was in the censored, and then lost to the ages, newspaper articles filed by the first reporter to reach Nagasaki following the atomic attack on that city on August 9, 1945.
No one in America ever wrote a bestselling book called Nagasaki, or made a film titled Nagasaki, Mon Amour. "We are an asterisk," Shinji Takahashi, a sociologist in Nagasaki, once told me, with a bitter smile.
Over and over, top policymakers and commentators say, "We must never use nuclear weapons," yet they endorse the two times the weapons have been used against cities in a first strike. To make any exceptions means exceptions can be made in the future.
On Aug. 6, 1945, President Truman faced the task of telling the world that America's crusade against fascism had culminated in exploding a revolutionary new weapon of extraordinary destructive power. From its very first words, the official narrative was built on a lie.
Sixty-six years ago today, the Nuclear Age began with a tragic bang, with the killing of over 100,000 people in Hiroshima, the vast majority women and children. Decades of a costly nuclear arms race followed.
Sixty-six years ago, U..S policymakers and President Truman made decisions that meant the use of two atomic bombs against Japanese cities was almost inevitable. Then film footage and other evidence of the true effects of the bomb were suppressed for decades.
The color U.S. military footage would remain hidden until the early 1980s, and has never been fully aired. It rests today at the National Archives in College Park, Md., in the form of 90,000 feet of raw footage labeled #342 USAF.
One of the great tales of Hollywood "censorship" remains little known today, nearly 65 years after it transpired. And who was right at the center of it? None other than President Harry S. Truman. He even got rid of the actor playing him in the MGM movie.
Hiroshima was our original sin, and we are still paying for it, even if most Americans don't know it. That's why I always urge everyone to study the history surrounding the decision to use the bomb and how the full story was covered up for decades.
While most people trace the dawn of the nuclear era to August 6, 1945, and the dropping of the atomic bomb over the center of Hiroshima, it really began three weeks earlier, in the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Obama seems to have hit a plateau in his approval ratings, which have remained largely unchanged for the past three months. Could it be that we've all just made up our minds about the job the president is doing?
Will Obama's presidency wind up charting a similar course as Carter, or will he recover as Reagan did? Only a fool would even contemplate making such a prediction at this point, that's all that really can be said.
Some of Truman's assistants had traveled to Havana over the holiday, and the President thought it might be fun to have customs agents "bottle them up" (detain them) for a good long while on their return home.